In our quest to change the face of ageing in Ireland, we came across a wonderful article in todays Irish Times – HEALTHplus special – which focuses on the over 60s. Prof Des O’Neill (a consultant in geriatric and stroke medicine) writes about the portrayal of ageing on the silver screen, how it has come a long way, and the only way is ‘Up‘!
“One of the surest signs of the growing awareness of the multi-faceted nature of ageing is its reflection on the silver screen. Fifty years ago, the tone was largely autumnal and even desolate.” writes Des. Movies such as Tokyo Story (1953), Wild Strawberries (1957), are described as puncturing the illusion of respect for elders, by Des… It wasn’t until Harold and Maude (1971) was released that we began to get a more nuanced vision of ageing. However it was not until 2009, that we saw the finest of all movies on later life.
“The truly wonderful ‘Up’ from Pixar succeeds brilliantly in the evocation of the wider themes ageing; wisdom, altruism, negotiation, and that combination of ‘tough but frail’ that increasingly characterises older people in the 21st century, but it does so with a light hand and considerable wit” - Prof Des O’Neill.
Through our research, we have found that Irish adults want to stay in the workforce longer, engage with society further and be more creative in their later lives, and in many cases technology will be the enabler for this. A fifth of Irish adults over 60 use the Internet, while in the U.S. half on those over 65 are online. Hunter Communications intends to release a series of three documents examining Irish attitudes to communications and how international best practice can be applied here, to begin ‘redefining ageing’…
Late life creativity is all around us, we hope to embrace it.